Hearing set in Hebrew National lawsuit

A motion to dismiss the lawsuit charging that Hebrew National hot dogs are not “100% kosher,” as widely advertised over the years, will be heard July 31 in Dakota County District Court — where the lawsuit was originally filed in 2012.


The Religious Freedom Restoration Act is backfiring and needs to go

I was raised Roman Catholic, and took it fairly seriously, but not super-seriously, as a youth. At least as an altar boy (it was only boys doing that, then) I had something to do during Mass, to cut the boredom, a little. Then I got to college and got sunk in philosophy and became an atheist, as I am now. At the time I thought pretty highly of myself and my “intellectual courage,” but I recognize now that “courage” was not a factor. My temperament is scientific/skeptical, much more so than religious, and that’s that.


A note on the Hobby Lobby disinformation industry

“The contraceptive mandate, as applied to closely held corporations, violates RFRA.”

Justice Alito for the majority in Burwell v Hobby Lobby.


Interviewing skills, values help MPR reporter uncover church's secrets

Photo by Keoni Cabral published under Creative Commons License

Madeleine Baran isn't used to being in the spotlight. The Minnesota Public Radio reporter is more comfortable asking the questions and listening to others' stories.


Conservative Christians protest Anoka-Hennepin's planned LGBT inclusion

Photo by Mark Fowler published under Creative Commons License

Two years after the Anoka-Hennepin School District entered into a consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice after multiple suicides of LGBT students, and a lawsuit by six students alleging rampant bullying and discrimination, conservative Christian parents continue to fight the inclusion of LGBT students in the district.


July 21: Learn from Jews around the world, in the Twin Cities!

Political and economic instability in Europe are in the news, and a lot of people are wondering, to borrow the well-known phrase: “What does it all mean for the Jews?”


Five votes. Five Catholics. Five men. What is wrong with the Hobby Lobby decision?

Five votes. Five Catholics. Five men. One decision. Potentially millions of American women denied contraceptive coverage. This what the recent Hobby Lobby decision is about, but it also reveals three deeper problems–the sexism pervading the current Supreme Court along with its religious parochialism, a serious problem with the role that religion has come to occupy in American society, and the elevation of corporate rights and power that is strangling American society.


Gratitude for America on the 4th of July

The Fourth of July used to mean a BBQ with friends, then fireworks later in the night (if I could stand the Minnesota mosquitos). Some time in the past few years, however, my husband Bryan has taken over the way we celebrate so that we can teach our kids how grateful we are to live freely as Jews in this country. It’s not that we don’t feel that gratitude during other times of the year, but the Fourth of July is the most natural time to express it.


Report: Anti-LGBT Archbishop Nienstedt being investigated for gay relationships

Embattled Archbishop John Nienstedt is facing a church investigation into whether he had inappropriate same-sex relationships with fellow clergy while he was engaged in anti-LGBT advocacy, according to Commonweal, the oldest Catholic journal in the United States.


Compulsory death

Because “freedom” is as American as God and apple pie, it’s surprising that the editors of the MIT Technology Review have not been charged with treason. In one of the MIT articles titled “Hacking the Soul,” Gabriel Kreiman, neuroscientist at Harvard Medical School, says that studies suggest, “all actions are the result of neural computations and nothing more.” So “there is nothing really free about free will.”

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